Three Former Attorney's Receive $550,000 To Settle A Retaliation Lawsuit
Three former Knox County assistant state’s attorneys received $550,000 to settle their retaliation lawsuits. The lawsuits were a result of what they claim was retaliation and wrongful termination at the hands of State’s Attorney John Pepmeyer and the county. The three attorneys, Dean Stone, Mike Kraycinovich and Tracy Jones, filed the wrongful discharge and retaliation claims in state and federal court and before the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") against Pepmeyer and the county.
The attorneys who reported allegations of Pepmeyer’s sexual harassment of three female secretaries were fired a short time after they reported the conduct. Pepmeyer said he fired the attorneys because of their tardiness, to list one reason. Of course this reason turned out to be a pretext for the firings. The settlement amount should be a clear indication of that. To show you how much it cost to defend a sexual harassment or retaliation lawsuit, the county spent over $464,000 to date to defend the lawsuit and even more to settle bringing the total cost to $1 million.
“They didn’t show up for work. I was left without any help.” said Pepmeyer